Mayor stops works in two housing projects for Zambo ‘bakwits’

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/04 November) – Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar has ordered the suspension of construction works in two housing projects for the internally displaced persons or “bakwits” in the city.

Salazar’s order came after she found out that substandard materials were being used in the construction when she personally inspected Monday the two project sites.

Salazar led the inspection after it reached her attention that three housing units collapsed while being constructed. She was accompanied by other local government officials.

Among the areas they inspected were the Lustre Homeowners Association Subdivision in Barangay Sta. Catalina and the houses on stilts in Barangay Mariki.

The three houses that collapsed are among the 158 concrete housing units for the members of the Lustre Homeowners Association.

“The mayor personally observed that the hollow blocks being used in Lustre crumbled while that in Mariki, the woods are not according to the project specifications,” City Information Officer Sheila Covarrubias said Tuesday.

Salazar sent Tuesday Assistant City Administrator Dr. Elmeir Apolinario to the Lustre project site after she learned that construction works continued despite her suspension order.

Apolinario said he immediately coordinated with NHA District Manager Al-Kwarizimi Indanan citing the NHA is the agency that should order the suspension since it is their project.

Apolinario noted that works continued Monday morning at the project site since the contactor was yet to receive the suspension order.

“I am sure by this time, the works have already stopped,” he added.

Salazar requested the NHA-central office to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure the safety of the prospective house owners.

Indanan said Monday the walls of the three units at the Lustre housing project collapsed after a backhoe of the construction firm accidentally hit the houses.

However, a local radio station reported that the houses collapsed due to strong winds prompting Salazar to call for an investigation. (MindaNews)